Festival Of Purim

Written by Patricia Skinner
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To celebrate the festival of Purim correctly, it is preferable to first observe the fast of Esther on the day before Purim. This fast is a way of acknowledging the hardships that the Jews went through in the events leading up to Purim, and at other times throughout their history. Esther was the wife of the Persian King Achashverosh. She had kept her religion a secret from her husband.

When the King's evil advisor, Haman, plotted to have all the Jews killed, Esther's cousin Mordechai asked her to intercede with the King. Esther was very frightened because this involved several acts that could make the King very angry indeed. To begin with, she would need to seek audience with the King without his invitation, which had simply not been done before. Secondly, she would have to admit that she was a Jewess, which might also make him very angry.

Esther's Plan

Esther decided to fast for three days before seeking an audience with her husband, and asked Mordechai to ask the Jewish people to do the same, along with prayers to support her. Esther's plan worked and instead of Haman's plot going ahead, the King had him hanged on the very same gallows he had prepared for Mordechai.

The Festival of Purim is one of the happiest events in the Jewish calendar. Every year this time is celebrated with parties, carnivals, and above all food. Traditionally Jews give gifts of sweets and other specially prepared kosher foods to honor the occasion. It's also a great way for friends and loved ones to know how treasured they are.

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